Bentway toronto

Space under the Gardiner about to be transformed again

The development of Toronto's new public-space-under-a-highway is moving along at a clip, and with every new detail that emerges from the project comes another (justifiable) wave of excitement.

The Bentway, as you should all well know by now, is a massive urban park that will eventually transform 1.75km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a series of open-air markets, music venues, festival spaces, gardens, recreational facilities and more.

The initial phase of the project is already open to the public. You may remember it from such trendy Toronto things as the Bentway Skate Trail (before it closed in February.)

As promised, the space between Strachan Avenue in the west to just east of Bathurst Street is now being converted into a year-round recreational space.

A full schedule of events for this summer will be released in the next few weeks, according to The Bentway Conservancy, but we do already know that skateboarding will play a major role in at least one part of the program.

"The Bentway and Build for Bokma are thrilled to announce CITE, a summer-long celebration of skateboard arts and culture launching on June 30 and officially opening the Skate Trail for the season," reads a press release issued by the Bentway on Thursday.

"CITE is an art installation /skatepark featuring Semblance, skateable sculptures conceived and constructed by Build for Bokma, which create a 3D terrain for boarders to ride on."

Opening weekend will include DJ sets and music performances, live graffiti demos, open skates, trick showcases, demos, meet and greets with pros, a marketplace featuring local skateboard retailers, and more.

Subsequent weekends will see CITE offer a variety of workshops including learn to skateboard clinics, videography, screen printing, and designing skateboards.

The program will serve as a response to Toronto's new skateboard strategy (which exists, apparently?), according to The Bentway, by better serving as an example of how to better integrate skateparks in the future development of the city.

Sponsored by Vans, CITE will run from June 30 until August 12, 2018, and you will definitely see me there trying to look cool.

Lead photo by

The Bentway

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